Friday, June 24, 2011
With the pregnant adult females apparently loathe to depart on their BIG summer foraging trip, many of the sub-adult male elephant seals have been reluctant to come ashore and get picked upon by these queens of the marine mammals. Instead, they have mainly chosen to stay just off-shore bottling and lazily swimming around in the shallow bays. The few males that did venture ashore tried to hide quietly amongst the restlessly quarreling moms without getting booted off again. ( Adult female elephant seals are infamous for picking on each other and keeping unwanted suitors/intruders from getting too chummy.)
Click here for photos of females.
However, as June draws to close for this year, and with these ruling females gone, the favoritized beaches are beginning to fill up with bigger males.
Click here for photos of sub-adult males and juveniles.
As we move through the summer months of July and August, we should see quite a few of the large male elephant seals taking up month-long residencies on the beaches of the central coast of California so they can go through their catastrophic molt and get some shore rest.
Click here to see video of adolescent males ganging up on an intruding male.
Currently, dominancy fighting is not at a premium as the newly arrived males are getting some R&R after their first long feeding trip of the year. But, as they recoup, no doubt their usual squabbling and hierarchal clashes will commence once again.
Click here for photos of bigger males.